Instructional Curriculum and Leadership


Faculty Mentor: Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw

Faculty Mentor's Department:  Instructional Curriculum and Leadership/Instructional Design and Technology

Contact Information:  (901) 678-1432/ rcknsnsz@Memphis.edu

Project Description:  Empowering Minorities and Females to Persist in STEM

The aim of the proposed project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a virtual science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) peer mentorship program to assist women and  minority undergraduate students in developing their career self-efficacy in STEM and to improve their persistence and intent to graduate from a STEM program and, ultimately, pursue a job in STEM. Grant funding has been secured to fund the initial investigations, and qualitative and quantitative research methods being used to assess the effectiveness of this virtual STEM peer mentorship program. In addition to research skills, the student working on this project will also be exposed to and learn instructional design and technology skills thought the development of the virtual elements of the STEM program. Opportunities to work on ancillary mini research projects which extend this main project will also be provided. Mini projects include examining additional factors associated with persistence, including but not limited to the development and validation of an academic-family balance scale for STEM students, women graduate students' use of media in their persistence, and a graduate familial orientation to prepare women and their families for the challenges of graduate work.

Requirements for Student Applicants: Student must have good writing and critical thinking skills, have basic computer skills,
be in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above), and be self-motivated and willing to learn.

Application or Interview Process: Cover letter with reason for interest and skills, 1 personal letter of reference, unofficial transcripts, resume/CV, 1 professional letter of reference

Hours per Week/Start Date: 15 hours/ Immediate Start Date

Method of Compensation: Volunteer

Faculty Mentor: Katherine Wade-Jaimes

Faculty Mentor's Department: Instructional Curriculum and Leadership

Contact Information: (901) 678-2254/ kswade@memphis.edu

Project Description: This project is an exploratory, qualitative research study examining the experiences and perspectives of urban science teachers. The goal of the research is to better understand the unique experiences of urban science teachers in order to better support them throughout their careers. Data collection includes surveys and interviews. Initially, 100 surveys and 30 interviews will be administered. Data collection is ongoing, with three rounds planned for Fall, 2018 (Sept 22, Oct 29, Nov 17). Data analysis will include iterative rounds of coding to identify themes in participants' responses. Analysis will also be segregated based on demographics such as years teaching, grade taught, race, gender, etc. Student responsibilities will include collecting and transcribing data, coding data (training will be provided), conducting literature reviews, and participation in research team discussions and writing. There is potential for expansion of the project in the future.

Requirements for Student Applicants: Ideally, applicants will have an interest in education and/or science and a related major. This project would be well suited for students interested in sociology, anthropology, or other fields that utilize qualitative research. Previous experience transcribing audio recordings or using nVivo software is a plus, but is not required. 

Application or Interview Process: Applicants should submit a cover letter stating why they are interested in this project and what their qualifications are, and at least one letter of reference. All interested applicants will be interviewed  before a final selection is made.

Hours per week/Method of Compensation:  up to 10 hours, flexible

Start Date: ASAP